Since we are now in both a flu epidemic and a diphtheria epidemic, I feel the need to continue covering this story. Life is precious. This is why I am against the amoral assassination of distant people who are usually peasants. This is why I am against nuclear power. This is also why, incidentally, I am not nearly as worried about global warming as another Ice Age. Ice Ages kill a lot more than warm cycles, just for example. Anyways, there is also more interesting news about cancers, that curious collective of rampant diseases which plague us the longer we live.
Obviously, the flu epidemic which is raging worse in Boston but is rising rapidly elsewhere, is now causing some alarm even in NYC: Flu Widespread, Leading a Range of Winter’s Ills – NYTimes.com
The predominant flu strain circulating is an H3N2, which typically kills more people than the H1N1 strains that usually predominate.
This month, the C.D.C. said the United States was having its biggest outbreak of pertussis in 60 years; there were about 42,000 confirmed cases, the highest total since 1955. The disease is unrelated to flu but causes a hacking, constant cough and breathlessness. While it is unpleasant, adults almost always survive; the greatest danger is to infants, especially premature ones with undeveloped lungs. Of the 18 recorded deaths in 2012, all but three were of infants under age 1….
Although most children are vaccinated several times against pertussis, those shots wear off with age. It is possible, the authorities said, that a new, safer vaccine introduced in the 1990s gives protection that does not last as long, so more teenagers and adults are vulnerable.
Yes, this is a dire medical emergency and people are dying including babies. And the only fix is to use vaccinations since we have no other tools to stop viruses. We can hinder it somewhat by never touching each other and wearing masks but I find that very distasteful. My grandfather who survived both the tuberculoses and Spanish flu epidemics that killed his fiancee during WWI, was very leery of touching or kissing anyone due to fears of contagion.
How much nicer to live in a world where we can embrace and kiss and cuddle? We see the dangerous sex diseases evolving ways of evading bacterial medicines and wouldn’t it be nice to have sex and not fear getting the clap?
Flu shots and nasal mists contain vaccines against three strains, the H3N2, the H1N1 and a B. Thus far this season, Dr. Bresee said, H1N1 cases have been rare, and the H3N2 component has been a good match against almost all the confirmed H3N2 samples the agency has tested.
¶ About a fifth of all flus this year thus far are from B strains. That part of the vaccine is a good match only 70 percent of the time, because two B’s are circulating.
¶ For that reason, he said, flu shots are being reformulated. Within two years, they said, most will contain vaccines against both B strains.
People tell me flu shots aren’t perfect. That is correct. No flu vaccinations means one gets to suffer the full blown effects of deadly diseases and also spread it to others unhindered. Anyone telling me they are careful are lying. Unlike in Asia where millions wear masks during winter, here, I see none. None at all, ever. When I recovered from the Hong Kong flu, I did wear masks in winter in public and people in NYC would point me out as some sort of freak. But it protected me from their germs!
Here is a good editorial: It’s time to take the flu seriously – MD Mama – Boston.com
If you are one of those people who think that the flu is no big deal, you should know that 18 children have died from the flu so far this season. And there’s a lot of flu season left…
Get a flu shot! Please. I get so sad and frustrated when parents say to me, “We don’t do flu shots.” The flu shot can’t give you the flu–and while side effects are always possible, they are usually mild and brief–much milder and briefer than the symptoms of the flu, that’s for sure. To all those people who say that they got sick after getting the flu shot, I want to be sure you know that it can take a couple of weeks for the flu shot to really take effect–and since we give the flu shot during flu season, it’s always possible that you could catch the flu during those two weeks. This does not mean that the flu shot gave you the flu or made you really sick. It’s a coincidence.
She is correct. I always get the flu shot very early and if they say the main strain is a different one from the shots I got, I go in for another shot. My caution was bought dearly! I very, very nearly died. I was told by the doctor in attendance that on the second day of the 105 fever, I suddenly came out of a coma to tell him, ‘If a bird sings in the window at dawn, I will live.’ This is because, to myself, the pain was so intolerable, I couldn’t endure another day of suffering.
So, when dawn came, a sparrow sang in the bushes outside, my fever subsided quickly and my once-lovely body was a skeletal mess, my hair was falling out and so did several teeth. But I lived. No one should go through that sort of hell, ever. And it was literally hot as hell and as tormenting as demons.
Here is a contrarian column that belittles the huge advantages of getting flu shots in a timely fashion: Column: Surging flu no reason for vaccine mandate
In October, Rhode Island became the first state to mandate the immunizations for all health care workers with direct patient contact. Earlier in 2012, Colorado’s Board of Health voted that all hospitals, nursing homes and health facilities across the state achieve at least a 90% vaccination rate for workers by 2015….
Such goals seem admirable at a time when the flu season is off to its earliest start since 2003-04, but these mandates might have done more to boot doctors and nurses from their jobs than to protect people’s health….
For the flu, the evidence is not nearly so powerful. Studies of Japan, where flu vaccination of schoolchildren was largely mandatory from 1962 to 1987, did show that more than 37,000 deaths were likely prevented.
Typhoid Mary wanted to interact with people even though she was killing them: NOVA | The Most Dangerous Woman in America | PBS. Imagine a nurse in a nursing home going from patient to patient while beginning to feel somewhat ill and the next day, he or she is sick at home and the poor patients are all in the hospital gasping for air and dying. How dare this be allowed when there is a simple, easy and quite safe way of preventing the spreading of dangerous diseases?
People working in healthcare do not have a right to spread diseases! I recall rightly that when attempts at sanitation were launched, most doctors heartily resisted and continued to murder their patients merrily while experts begged them to stop. Even now, sanitary protocols have to be constantly monitored to stop health care professionals from killing their patients. Washing of hands after using the toilet continues to be problem.
I know people who demand, before staff enters the room, they wash their hands. As the old guard dies or retires, it is more customary for new staff to follow the rules due mainly to habit. All these advances in medical care came despite howls of rage from the Old Guard and in the case of vaccinations, people who want to experiment with pre-20th century medical care can do so but not with the general public and alas, they do spread communicable diseases to the rest of us who have to struggle hard to protect ourselves from Typhoid Marys all over the place including, these days, in schools.
Now on to the cancer news: Cancer Drug “Holiday” May Extend Patient Survival
New research on mice shows that drug-resistant melanoma tumors shrink when treatment is interrupted, or given a “holiday”, suggesting that altering the dose pattern of cancer drug treatment in this manner could be a simple way to extend survival in human patients with late-stage disease. However, only human trials can verify if this is the case….
P.O. BOX 483
BERLIN, NY 12022
Make checks out to ‘Elaine Supkis’
Click on the Pegasus icon on the right sidebar to donate via Paypal.